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Ritchie Berger, attorney at Dinse Knapp & McAndrew’s Statement to the Press, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016

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Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate 

http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/annette-smith-is-a-lightning-rod-in-the-renewable-energy-debate/Content?oid=3166359

By TERRI HALLENBECK @TERRIVT

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  • ADAM VANDERMINDEN
  • Annette Smith in her home office

When Annette Smith got notice from the Vermont Attorney General’s Office that she was under investigation for practicing law without a license, she filed a public records request asking for all related documents.

Almost 600 pages later, the 59-year-old executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment posted everything she received and alerted the media. Against the advice of lawyers, she kept talking publicly about a case that could have gotten her fined — or jailed.

That’s how Smith does business: She’s fearless, thorough and unorthodox.

“I am not pretending to be a lawyer,” she asserted. “It’s VCE’s mission to help raise the voices of communities, so they can have more say in the process.” Continue reading

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AG, Citing First Amendment, Drops Probe Of Activist Annette Smith

http://digital.vpr.net/post/ag-citing-first-amendment-drops-probe-activist-annette-smith#stream/0 

By JOHN DILLON • 2 HOURS AGO

Attorney General Bill Sorrell has closed a closed a criminal investigation into allegations that environmental activist Annette Smith has practiced law without a license.

Smith has helped local residents challenge solar and wind projects planned for their communities. The Associated Press reported that the complaint against her was made by a law firm hired by David Blittersdorf, a prominent renewable energy developer.

Smith has helped Northeast Kingdom residents challenge Blittersdorf’s solar and wind projects. The developer’s law firm served her with a no-trespass order, and filed public records requests with the towns of Morgan and Irasburg as part of its investigation of the activist.

The attorney general’s office said Monday that it had examined the claims against Smith and decided to take no action. Continue reading

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AG Drops Investigation Into Smith’s Activities Before PSB

Caledonian Record  2/9/2016

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Photo by Jennifer Hersey Cleveland

Attorney David Sleigh announces that the Attorney General’s Office has dropped its investigation into the activities of Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment. Behind them are mostly neighbors, past and present, of industrial wind projects in Sheffield and Lowell, including Paul and Carol Brouha, Energize Vermont Board of Directors President Mark Whitworth, Luann Therrien (partially obscured), Robbin Clark, Sleigh’s associate Kyle Hatt, and Shirley Nelson.

Photo by Jennifer Hersey Cleveland

The packed crowd in the Cedar Creek Room goes wild with applause and cheers after hearing that the Attorney General’s Office will not pursue legal action against Annette Smith.

By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland Staff Writer

MONTPELIER — The crowd in the Cedar Creek Room wildly and loudly applauded and cheered after learning that the Vermont Attorney General’s Office closed its investigation into Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), for the alleged unauthorized practice of law.

“I just got off the phone ten minutes ago with John Treadwell from the Attorney General’s Office,” attorney David Sleigh said during Monday’s press conference. “He told me that they completed the investigation and they will be pursuing no further action against Annette.”

Sleigh added that he was “certainly disappointed to be deprived of a long-term and protracted litigation” to which one Smith supporter hollered, “Sue them anyways!”

Continue reading

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